A CHESS wonderkid is preparing to take on 20 players from the district - simultaneously.

Eleven-year-old Chinese star Yichen Han defeated English grandmaster Mark Hebden earlier this year.

He also holds a UK junior title, and had a highly-placed finish in both European and world junior championships of 2018.

The youngster, who is a member at Forest Hall Chess Club in North Tyneside, will be at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham on Saturday, January 12.

Tynedale Chess Club is organising the ‘Chess Simultaneous Display’, in conjunction with Forest Hall’s Mike Smith.

It will take a similar format to a famous exhibition match in France in 1922, when Polish chess prodigy Sammy Reshevsky simultaneously took on accomplished players at the age of just eight.

Spectators are invited to come along, and Tynedale Chess Club’s Peter Crichton said: “It’s going to be a lot of fun. There will be experienced local chess players taking on an opponent who is so young, yet so talented.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Yichen to the Queen’s Hall for what will no doubt be a fascinating couple of hours of chess.”

The young chess star will stand inside a circle of 20 chess boards on tables.

He will gradually make his way around the circle, clockwise, making a move on each board. Players will drop out once they have been defeated.

Chess players wishing to compete should apply to Peter Crichton at jp.crichton@gmail.com or (01661) 853103; or Tim Wrigley at tim@longwrigley.co.uk or (01434) 681487. The match will get under way at 11am.